Opportunistic Infections

Fungi and Parasites are opportunistic organisms and this translates to fungal and parasite infections, in humans, often being thought of as opportunistic infections.1 Infection results when the magnitude of a parasitic organism (such as a tape worm) or organisms (such as single celled ameba parasites or fungi) can’t be effectively managed by the immune system. There is a wide variety of symptoms that are suggestive of having an infection, which we shall discuss later, but for now some of the ways fungi and parasites trigger infection in your body are through at least five different mechanisms.

  • Chemical Regulation

    Research on fungal infections has shown that fungi release key chemical regulators that disrupt and confuse immune communication.2 This stops the immune system from being able to decrease the population of fungi and parasites in your body, allowing them to proliferate, resulting in infection.

  • pH Regulation3

    The term “pH” refers to the degree of acidity or alkalinity in bodily fluid, with a pH of “7” being neutral, not acidic, not alkaline. If for any reason a parasitic organism elevates pH (more alkaline) or decreases pH (more acidic) than is optimal for the body system they are influencing, you may develop symptoms, and therefore, have an infection

  • Poor Nutrient Absorption

    Parasites and fungi devour your own nutrition leaving little or nothing to nourish your body. This will lead to malnutrition and more specifically micro-nutrient malnutrition, leaving you lacking in essential micro-nutrient such as Vitamin A and Iron.4

  • Parasite Nests

    Parasite may lay their eggs, creating nests which become cysts, in your organs,5 glands, adipose tissue6 and muscles. Cysts are often full of larva which most often develop in many major organs of the body, including the brain.7

  • Parasite Die-Off Poisoning

    As fungi and parasite die off, they overwhelm the detoxification and lymphatic systems resulting in an increasingly expanding variety of negative symptoms.8 This is due to the burden of potentially having millions, if not BILLIONS of dead bugs in your body!

Common Causes of Fungal and Parasite Infections

Many different internal and external issues can facilitate infection.  Among the most common causes of fungal and parasite infections are

Stress

Stress is one of the most common causes of decreased immune function, poor diet and lifestyle behaviors (coping mechanisms), and is associated with many if not all illnesses.

 Stressful thinking is a form of self-generated stress that further promotes immune weakness and invites infection.

Poor Quality Food

Eating poor quality, this includes any and all commercially farmed produce, animals, or fish! Poor quality food leaves the body with both energy and nutrition deficits. This will very quickly lead to decreased vitality and immunity.

Alcohol Consumption on a Regular Basis

Disrupts the body’s blood sugar handling abilities, leading to extreme swings between high and low blood sugar. This is very stressful on the body and results because alcohol skips many steps in the cells energy production cycle (Krebs cycle).9 When blood sugar levels are high we may attract fungus and parasites to help in lowering blood sugar levels.

Lack of Sleep

Will diminish your vitality and immunity rapidly.10 Most people should be getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night.

Poor Hygiene Standards

Yet, another common cause of parasite and fungal infection is not only relevant to hygiene standards of our own bodies. But, also extend through your home and living space (sheds, garages, and yards). Not caring optimally for your mouth, teeth, finger and toenails, hair and scalp, sex organs, or general cleanliness opens the door to infection. Although, it’s important to know that there is a paradox, in that we can focus on being too clean (remember we cannot rid ourselves completely of fungi and parasites, just like bacteria, nor would we want to).

 Home toxicity, particularly in the kitchen, is often a common source of infection. The kitchen and the bathroom are commonly the dirtiest places in most homes. You can often notice fungus or mold in kitchen and bathroom areas as a black colored growth in cracks between tiles, especially around damp areas. This mold can easily poison your environment and your body very quickly.

Lack Of or Too Much Exercise

Results in unfavorable stressors on the body, swiftly leading to immune weakness.

If we don’t move our bodies enough, we don’t pump our glands and organs effectively leading to a stasis (stand still) of fluids. When there is a stasis of fluids, we create a perfect feeding and breeding ground for fungus and parasites!

Too much exercise, on the other hand leads to chronically elevated levels of stress hormones (i.e. cortisol). Over time, this causes depression of the immune system and a host of other negative symptoms. Over exercising is also often coupled with a lot of sweating, poor food choices, over-consumption of stimulants (coffee, tea, chocolate and sugar), all of which favor fungal and parasite infections.

Best Ways to Determine If You Have a Fungi or Parasite Infection & Common Symptoms

While there are Lab tests you can order such as a Genova Kit from Directlabs or a complete microbiome test from Viome, which can determine whether you have an infection. These tests can be expensive for many people and have been discussed in detail by others, such as Ben Greenfield in his articles “A Step-By-Step Guide To Testing Your Gut For Nasty Invaders”” and “What Is Viome? How Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis Can Change Your Health.” I’d like to focus more on, for the purposes of this article and simplicity, common symptoms associated with these infections. There are a wide variety of symptoms that are very often suggestive to, but not always related too, fungal infections or parasite infections experienced by people of all ages.  These symptoms can vary depending on the type of parasitic organism and the underlying health of the person.

Common Symptoms Of Fungal Infections

  • Craving sugar and sweet foods and drinks
  • Degenerative changes in skin flaking off, which often leave open sores if you try and peel the dead looking skin away
  • Pimples that look like pimples, but don’t develop white heads. When squeezed these pimples don’t typically exude the typical fluids pimples do and get easily irritated. Picking at them usually results in a small skin wound that doesn’t respond to most pimple treatment approaches.
  • Loose, foul smelling stools
  • Elimination alternating between periods of constipation and diarrhea
  • Nail Abnormality: thickening, brittle, crumbly or ragged, flaking, and tiny white spots on the underside of fingernails or toenails
  • Dandruff
  • Jock itch
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Prostate hypertrophy and the problems that come with it
  • Popping joints and joint instability
  • Leaky Gut syndrome
  • Digestive disorders
  • Excessive Flatulence (gas)
  • Immune weakness: leading to an increased incidence of both common and uncommon illnesses. Basically meaning that you get sick often.
  • Sleep disruption and Insomnia
  • Elevated Cortisol (the chief stress hormone) production; this can lead to adrenal exhaustion if the fungal infection isn’t handled effectively
  • Mood Dis-regulation (Experiencing mood swings often)
  • Malnutrition
  • Hair loss: usually in coin sized blotches or larger that often result from itching the scalp
  • Vaginal yeast infections

If you only have one of these symptoms, you may very well have a fungal infection. But, the more symptoms you have the greater the chance you are dealing with a fungal infection. The secret is not to wait until the infection gets worse or you develop more symptoms. But, instead you need to take action as early as possible, starting with dietary and lifestyle changes, and/or getting professional help. The longer you have a fungal infection, the greater the chance it will proliferate in your body, causing more and more damage that will typically extend the amount of time it takes to heal the infection. Next we have the common symptoms of parasite infection, which as you’ll see are identical or overlap the symptoms of fungal infection. The following list of symptoms is in no way complete, because of every person’s unique biochemical individuality and functional capacity for stress varies so widely that two people with the same parasite infection could have very different symptoms.

Common Symptoms Of Parasite Infections

  • Feeling Fatigued, that is uncharacteristic of your normal state (more than you normally do)
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Digestive disorders
  • Irritability/nervousness/mood swings
  • Depression or emotional unrest
  • Agitated thoughts
  • Often experiencing nightmares
  • Persistent skin problems
  • Granulomas (tumor like parasite encasements)
  • Sugar cravings
  • Insatiable appetite
  • Allergies/intolerances
  • Nasal itching/picking or Anal itching
  • Coin sized blotches on face

If you have 4 or more of these symptoms, the chances are high that you have a parasite infection.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0029694/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2965399/
  3. http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1006149
  4. http://www.e-mjm.org/2004/v59n2/Intestinal_Parasitic_Infections.pdf
  5. http://www.ectrx.org/forms/ectrxcontentshow.php?year=2004
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906371/
  7. http://ajp.amjpathol.org/article/S0002-9440(10)60475-0/fulltext
  8. https://health4all.co.uk/all-about-die-off-or-herxheimer-reaction-in-parasite-and-candida-cleanse/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3484320/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/

Fact of the week

Oregano extract has been shown to “lead to growth arrest and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner” in colon cancer cells.11

This is could be the result of a certain phytochemical found in oregano, known as carnosol, which has been “evaluated for anti-cancer property in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer with promising results.”12 Oregano also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal effects, and may be able to kill MRSA, listeria and other pathogens.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19373612
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070765/pdf/nihms276122.pdf